Tag Archives: work

The Good, the Bad and the Ugliness of Daycare

Standard

My Princess has been in daycare since she was 18 months old.  I went back to work on weekend and nights when she was about 10 months old but didn’t go back fulltime until she was 16 months.  I moved from Ottawa to Toronto when I was 7 months pregnant and decided that when I went back to work, I wasn’t getting a transfer.  I knew I needed a job that paid the bills, left a little in the bank and would still cover the cost of daycare.  I searched all over Toronto but most were either inflexible hours, too little pay or ridiculously far away from where we lived.  So I found a job where I worked nights on the weekend.  Despite hating it, it put money in the bank and I didn’t need a sitter.  But eventually it just wasn’t enough, I really didn’t want it to be my career, let alone my job.  So I started looking again for another job.

Finally I found the job where I work now.  I am a food writer for a catering company in Toronto and I’m also the Head Catering Coordinator.  The hours are great, so are my coworkers and it is only a 35 – 45 minute commute each way.  Not bad for Toronto.  I began my search for childcare.  We found one woman who ran her own daycare out of her home who lived near us.  She was relatively priced, had children of her own, so it seemed like a great fit.  We went away the weekend before I was supposed to start and when we came home that Sunday I had a message on my machine.

“I’m really sorry to do this to you so last-minute, but I’ve changed my mind.  I’m closing down my home daycare.”

Are you serious?!  Thank goodness for my in-laws who helped us out extraordinarily with our search for childcare.  They watched her until we found someone else.  While I was searching for the first place, I had come across a Nanny (or so she called herself) that was fresh out of college.  She was currently working at a daycare, but wished to go into business herself.  She was willing to come to our home and watch her.  She was all up to date with her CPR and First Aid.  She graduated from the Early Childhood Education program at a Toronto College.  She had references from daycare, families and other related jobs and all the references came back stellar.  I even had a police background check done and it was clean.  I did my research and was thorough, she was the person.  It wasn’t long until we learned our lesson.

It started off fairly early that she was not showing up to work, or calling in sick.  Once she told me she couldn’t work on Monday because she “thought” her cousin was getting married.  Then we started to hear from our neighbours that there were people waiting outside for her throughout the day.  We had a discussion with her and told her that under NO circumstances was she to have anyone in our home.  She said she understood.  Next thing we noticed, food from our fridge was missing.  Not a little bit at a time, like cans of soup, tube of cookie dough, you name it, it started to go missing.  We started looking for daycare, because it was getting to be too much.  Then this (insert expletive) did something so atrocious that she will rot in a special place for what she did.  Hubby and I keep all our twoonies to put in the Princess’ piggy bank.  It goes towards her college fund and the Wednesday prior to this day, we had counted it and there was $100 in it.  Hubby suggested that we roll it and put it in the bank.  The next Monday, I came home from work and found numerous Tim Horton cups in our trash.  I remember she brought one when she arrived that morning, but there were three in the garbage and Hubby said he didn’t have any.  Then I went to the sink and found three bowls of Alphaghetti in there.  And none were of my daughter’s special children’s bowls.  Hubby said when he got home, there was someone waiting outside.  Hmm.  My spider senses were beginning to tingle.  I was going to call her that night to ask if she had anyone over.  But first, I had twoonies in my purse that I was going to put in her piggy bank.  Now I kept our laundry money, spare change jar and the Princess’ piggy bank in our bedroom with the door closed.  She was aware that our bedroom was off-limits and she was never to go in there.  So that night, when I went to put the change in the piggy bank, I lifted it up and much to my surprise, it was EMPTY!!!!  Oh I have never been so angry in my life!  I began frantically searching around my home for 50 twoonies.  Asked Hubby if he had taken them to the bank and he said ‘no’.  So I called her.  And this is how the conversation went.

“Hi (insert name).  Did you have someone over today?” I asked calmly.

“No.”

“Well Hubby said he saw your friend outside.”

“Yeah, they were waiting for me.”

“Well I found coffee cups in the garbage.”

“Oh, well they came up to use the bathroom.”

“Did they eat my food too?  I found bowls in the sink.” Rule number one for criminals, get rid of the evidence.

“Ummm.”

“Listen, the Princess’ piggy bank is empty.”

“I never went into your bedroom.”  Caught you!

“That’s funny, because I never told you that’s where the money was.”

Dead silence.

“Listen, you are fired and I’m calling the cops.  You stole money from a baby!  You are low.”

I called the cops and they came and took our statement.  I was assigned a detective and they tried numerous times to call her and go to her place of residence, however, because she lived in an apartment building, and she didn’t answer the buzzer, they couldn’t go in the building.  Robbed a baby and got away with it.  But I was offered this little tidbit of information.  Apparently, in Canada, if you have been arrested but never charged formally, these offenses never show up on your record and our dear sweet thief had been arrested TWICE for shoplifting and theft and ONCE for domestic abuse, but all charges were dropped.  So my background check did absolutely nothing to protect my child.  I did however, call her references and informed them of what she did and they were absolutely wrong to give such stellar ones when she was nothing but a thief.  I felt so guilty after that.  I left my child in the care of someone who robbed her.  Stole money that was to be for her education.  I felt like I made the worst decision of my life.

Soon after that, we found the daycare where we are at now.  It was close to home, reasonably priced and was professionally run.  That is not to say we were not without bumps in the road.  Three days after going into daycare, our Princess contracted Norwalk Virus, and had vicious diarrhea for 3 weeks.  She lost so much weight and her poor bum was so blistered that we had to put a steroid cream just to keep them from bleeding.   She was so miserable it was devastating.  The daycare fortunately refunded us 2 weeks of the cost, however, Hubby and I had to alternatively take days off work just to care for her.  I had literally just started a new job and was missing days out of the week.  I thought for sure I was going to be fired.  But I had no one else.  The daycare wouldn’t take her.  After she finally got over that, it was maybe a week before she got an ear infection that spread to her eyes, throat, sinus and lymph nodes and sent her into a fever that was so high I had to put her in bath of cold water.  She screamed bloody murder.  I put her on the couch naked to try to cool her down when she started to have a seizure.  Her eyes rolled back in her head, she started to shake uncontrollably and was gasping for breath.  I was frantic.  I have epilepsy, but to see it happening to your child is frightening.  She had 12 seizures that day.  She was rushed to the local Children’s Hospital where she spent days in and out of it for close to six months.  Any virus or germ or bacteria that was going around her daycare, she got it.  I never believed it when people told me that once you put them in daycare they get sick all the time, but they were right.  Her drastic change in health put a lot of strain on us emotionally, physically and financially.  I was starting to wonder if going back to work was the right thing to do.

She had lost so much weight and became so weak that she had troubling walking.  She would collapse for no reason, continued to have seizures any time she had a fever and we went for countless tests.  Seeing her hooked up to an EEG machine, with wires running off of her head was so heart breaking.  She went to visit a pediatric neurologist who gave us good news.  She wasn’t epileptic, although her chances of developing it later in life are increased.  He gave us pills that were to crush in her cheek if she had another one and to monitor all her fever’s closely.  Thank GOD she hasn’t had another one after that.  It took about a year in daycare before she was able to ward off any viruses.  But despite her not getting them, she brought them home to us.  Hubby never got tonsilitis until we put her in daycare.  But as soon as she went in, he was getting it every 2 months.  He could even tell before it hit that he was getting it.  Finally in January, after going to the doctors, he had his tonsils removed because the doctor said that his tonsils were basically working against him.   The surgeon said they were the size of meatballs they were so infected.

Now despite a tumultuous year and a half, there were great things about the daycare.  My Princess is a social butterfly and has so many friends.  We would have parents come up to us and say how much their children talk about her.  Kids would fight just to sit next to her.  Her daycare also had fashion shows, plays, puppet shows and field trips that has greatly enriched her life.  Just this week she was able to go to the African Lion Safari which is where you drive through a park of African animals and get to see them close up.  She got to see monkey’s and lions and loved how the monkey’s climbed on the car.  They provided her with life experiences and friends that she may not have gotten if I had stayed home.  I am not worried about her going to Kindergarten now because of how well she flourished in daycare.  I also know now that her immune system is stronger, she won’t be missing that much time at school.  I would recommend our daycare to anyone and if we have another child and I go back to work, we will definitely be using that one again.

“Do you not like to support your community?”

Standard

This is what I was asked by a young man on Bloor Street while I was trying to get home after work.  He was no older than 21, mohawked, pimpled and wearing superman shorts, he jogged up to me carrying a file folder.

“Just so you know, we’re going to talk,” he smiles.  Oh no, I really just want to get home, however because I worked as a telemarketer in my university days, I agree to at least listen.

“Okay.”

“Do you sponsor a child?” he asks nonchalantly.  I think to myself, does my own count?

“No I don’t.”

“Have you ever considered it?”

“Not overly.”

“Do you know someone who does?” I nod as I do.  I think at this point he is beginning to sense that this is a dead on, but he is optimistic.

“Did you know for only $1 a day, you can provide a child in Peru with housing, food and an education?  That is less than daily ATM fees.”  I argue with him that my hesitation to sponsor a child is from first hand accounts I’ve heard from people I know that work for these kind of companies that a large portion of the money goes to the business and not these kids in need.  His face grows stern and his pessimism grows.

“Do you not like to support your community?  I bet you don’t even donate to charity. It’s really not that expensive, you could afford it.”

I explain to him that yes, I do like to support my community, however, contrary to his belief, Peru is not my community.  Toronto and Canada are my communities.  I also contribute to charities.  I am a firm supporter of child literacy programs, local food banks and shelters.  This past weekend, I donated over 10 garbage sized bags of clothes and shoes to a local clothing drive in Toronto.  I had 42 diaper boxes of girl’s clothes that I had saved from when the Princess was born and of those 42, I kept a tote of clothes for any future children I may have and have 17 boxes left to give to friends and family that already have or are having girls.  The rest, on top of clothes that Hubby and I no longer wore, went to clothing my fellow Canadians and Torontonians.

“C’mon,” he argued.  “It’s not that expensive.”

I explain that I cannot consent to this right here and now as this concerns money, and I must consult with my Hubby.  I don’t need to ask his permission, but as this is a financial decision, it has to be a mutual one.  He had enough and walked away from me sighing, but then smiles quickly as he sees the next person walking down the street.

I don’t want to put out the impression that I do not care for the starving children in the world, because I do.  As a parent, it’s almost impossible for me not to.  However, I have a child that requires me to feed her, and clothe her, and house her, and provide for her.  My own government won’t assist my financially, let alone people from other countries.  She is my responsibility, those children are not.  It makes my heart ache to see them on the TV, with their bellies swollen from kwashiorkor, flies swarming around their mouths and the squalor they live in.  If I had the resources to feed all the children and provide for them, I really would.  But I cannot justify giving money to care for another child when I have my own to care for.  Some of you may be thinking, “It’s only a $1 a day.”  You are absolutely right, it’s only $352 a year.  But that is roughly 2 weeks of childcare, less than a month’s worth of groceries, 4 month’s worth of Hydro, and/or transportation costs for our family for a month.

I would also like to point out that there are children in Canada and the United States that do not get enough to eat, or have daily access to housing or running water.  Abuse and neglect are still rampant, drug abuse and violence are an everyday occurrence, and in some northern parts of Canada, the suicide rate is 11% higher than the national Canadian average.  To me, those are issues that are closer to my heart than those in other countries.   I cannot help everyone in the world, no matter how much I would love to, but I can help some people.  I just choose to help my community.  A motto I follow is “In order to help others, you must first help yourself.”  I once explained this to someone who didn’t quite understand my point of view.  I argued that in most life-threatening situations, they always tell you to put the oxygen mask on yourself before helping the person next to you.  You can’t help someone if you are endangered yourself.  The same can be said in this situation.  So to the young man who approached me, let me say this;  Your selling techniques need work, and just because I didn’t sponsor a child, I’m not a bad person.

The Trials and Tribulations of the Working Mom

Standard

I am a working mom.  I took a little time after coming off Maternity Leave before going back to work full-time, going back when she was 18 months.  I worked part-time nights on the weekend after my leave ended.  I thought 1 year was not yet old enough for me to be apart from her.  You only get some much time with them, I wanted to make sure that I made the most of the time.  But eventually, I needed to go back.  I noticed that when talking with other adults, the only thing I could talk about was the Princess.  I was up-to-date on developmental skills and the latest children’s toy, but as for fashion, gossip and news, I was lacking.  After discussing it with the hubby, I made the decision to go back to work.  On any given day, this is what my day looks like;

  • 5:30 am – Hubby goes to work, the Princess crawls into bed with me until we have to get up to start our day
  • 6:30 am – I get to enjoy my breakfast
  • 7:00 am – The Princess has risen and “FEED ME” is the first thing she bellows.  Treehouse goes on the television, her breakfast is eaten and I begin sorting out our clothes, feed our cat (Remi) and 2 parakeets (aptly named Alfred and Hitchcock after my favourite movie, “The Birds”)
  • 7:20 – 8:10 am – We shower, brush our teeth, brush our hair get dressed, run around hectically, search for lost shoes, and one last potty trip
  • 8:20 am – Wait for our bus to come
  • 8:30 am – Our bus arrives and we’re on our way
  • 9:00 am – We arrive at her daycare, shoes are changed, kisses and hugs goodbye are exchanged and I am begin walking back to the subway
  • 9:15 – 9:50 am – I am on the subway for my daily commute to work.  This is the time where I get to read.  As I am an avid reader, I am doing the Goodreads 2012 Reading Challenge and I’m currently reading “The Handmaid’s Tale” by Margaret Atwood
  • 10:00 am – 5:30 pm – I am slaving away to “The Man”.  My lunch is used to update Hubby on dinner, complain about our days, and ask what the plan is for the rest of the night
  • 5:35 – 6:15 pm – I’m commuting home
  • 6:30 pm – Dinner starts (Hubby picks up the Princess at 5 pm so as he’s home first, he starts dinner)
  • 7:00 – 7:30 pm – Quiet family time, for example colouring, reading, etc
  • 7:30 – 8:00 pm – Shower time for the Princess
  • 8:15 pm – Bedtime along with hugs and kisses and a bedtime read
  • 8:30 pm – dinner dishes begin and a quick tidy
  • 9:00 pm – 10:00 pm – Relaxation
  • 10:00 pm – Mommy and Daddy bedtime

Now this the presumed schedule we have set up, but that’s not to say that sometimes there aren’t a few bumps in the road.  Sometimes there are delays in the bus and subway, or work runs late for both Hubby and I, or the Princess gets sick at daycare and one of us has to go pick her up.  In any given day, I get approximately 2 hours of relaxing time.  Oh the joys!

Parenting Is Hard Enough

Standard

I was recently having a discussion about Alicia Silverstone pre-chewing her food and feeding her son.  Then we discussed the whole “co-sleeping” debate when Mayim Bialik wrote about attachment parenting.  Everyone had an opinion on what was the right and wrong way to parent.  I remember getting all sorts of parenting advice, whether it was warranted or not, and there were days where my brain actually hurt.

Should I breastfeed?  What about formula?  How long should the baby sleep in our room?  Should we use a stroller or baby carrier?  There was so much to think about and we were getting advice at every corner.  All I wanted was to raise a well-rounded, polite, out going child.  That’s not too much to ask is it?  I asked the likely people for advice, my doctor, my mom and mother in-law, friends with children and did my own research on the internet.  Then I would get it from people on the street.  I didn’t even ask them for their opinion, I merely passed them on the street.  What the heck?

Now that I am a mother and many of my friends are having children, sometimes they come to me for advice.  I do what I did.  I went to my own mother, my mother in-law, ask my doctor and did my own research.  At then at the end, I did what I thought was best for my daughter.  And that was all they could do.  I told them I was not about to be an insufferable know-it-all and tell them every last detail of my parenting experience and that ultimately, they would do what they thought was best for their children.   Do not listen to all the chatter, use your natural instinct and your child will turn out alright.

Historically speaking, women came together and birthed and raised children as a community.  Now it is more of an attack on parenting.  We are judging each other instead of helping each other.  Good grief, parenting is hard enough without everyone and their neighbour chipping in their two cents.  So what if you co-sleep?  If it works for you, then by all means.  Pre-chew food?  Not my first choice, but then again, it’s not my child.  Parenting is as deeply personal as religion is.  It varies from person to person and if we are not supposed to judge people on their beliefs, then lets not judge them on how they raise their children.  What works for them, may not work for you or I, but it works for them.

I am quite proud of how I raised my daughter.  I gave birth via c-section with an epidural.  I breastfed until she was 5 1/2 months.  She wore disposable diapers as opposed to cloth.  She was in her own crib, in her own room at 2 months.  I immunized her, but didn’t opt for the flu shot.  I never put her in a playpen to play.  I took away her soother at 6 months, and stopped bottle feeding at 14 months. I made my own baby food in the beginning then switched to jarred.  I give her allowance, as I make her do chores.  She gets put in timeout.  She has pets, and reads the Goosebump series.  I didn’t give her juice until she was 20 months old and only because she contracted Norwalk Virus.  Her “security blanket” is actually my old bra (she has been dragging it around since she could crawl, and actually hides all my bras on me now.  I will find them in toy box and under her pillow from time to time.)  I stayed home until she was 18 months and then went back to work full time and put her in daycare.  I will not pierce her ears until she is 5.  She has had overnight sleepover at a friend’s homes.  She still has naps and enjoys morning cartoons.  And while some people may not agree with some of this, it doesn’t matter to me.  My daughter is an independent, intelligent, creative and imaginative little girl.  She says please and thank you, she gives hugs and kisses, shares and plays well with other children.  Only I know what is best for her, as she came from my body. 

Ideas to Keep the Kids Busy When You Work At Home

Video

While I do not work at home, I do write part time and trying to find time to commit to it while my princess is home is hard.  She is a little diva and a little demanding and my time is a hot commodity with her.  I came across this on Youtube, and while Susan Soares uses these ideas so she can write, I think that all stay-at-home and work-from-home parents can use these ideas too!  Check it out!

 

A Glimmer of Hope at the End of The Tunnel

Standard

Pregnant   I received a bit of news that shows there is a glimmer of hope at the end of the tunnel.  I had almost given up hope of getting pregnant.  I had been to doctors that either refused to help me at all, or tried to tell me I “just wasn’t ready”.  I made an appointment with another doctor and from the moment I explained why I was there, he smiled and said to me, “I’m going to help you.”  I’ve never been quite so happy to hear those 5 words.  Let me give you a little back story first.

In November of 2008, our daughter was born.  Delivered via emergency C-Section, she was born a happy, and healthy 7 lbs 5 oz, 21 1/2 inch long bundle of precious joy.  We hadn’t planned on becoming pregnant when we did, but when we got the “positive” on the test, it was a simple decision, we were keeping her.  And the moment she was laid in our arms, we knew we had made the right decision.  She was all we had ever dreamed of.  I don’t think I knew before what a true, and pure love you can have for a child until her so when she was almost 2, we decided that we were going to try for another.

We had calculated it out that if we got pregnant right away, by the time the baby was born, I would have a full year with both of my children before my eldest daughter would have to go to kindergarten and I would have to go back to work.  This way, we would only have 1 child in diapers and daycare at once.  Seemed like the perfect age difference between them both.  My sister and I were 2 years apart and I remember always having someone to play with, share clothes with, and argue with.  I loved having siblings and I wanted the same for my daughter.  After coming off the pill, my cycles were wonky to say the very least, but I figured it would take some time.  I thought, 2 to 3 months max.  By Christmas and still no pregnancy, I booked an appointment with my gyno to see if there was anything wrong.  She sent me to have an ultrasound to see if I had Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), which I didn’t.  I had asked her for any advice to help speed up the process to One proud Papawhich she replied, “just keep having sex.”  If just having sex created babies, then the world would be full of them.  She explained nothing about cervical mucus, ovulation, positions or anything, just have sex.  I had no thought to argue, after all she was a doctor, a gynecologist and obstetrician to boot, so if she had any tips, she surely would tell me.

After 6 months of trying, we finally got a positive test result.  I was beyond ecstatic.  My husband and I were going to be parents again.  We hugged and kissed and began to think of what the next 9 months would hold.  It wasn’t long before I was showing (I had a full belly by 3 months with my first daughter) and the search for maternity clothes began.  I remember thinking to myself how great I felt considering with my daughter, I had morning sickness for 7 months, raging heartburn, swollen feet, headaches and extreme fatigue.  I was a little bit tired, but I had no morning sickness, none of my previous symptoms.  I thought how great this was, but there was this nagging thought in the back of my mind that something wasn’t “right”.  I had read that each pregnancy was different and how some women never had any of the “typical” pregnancy symptoms, so I kept telling myself everything was fine.  But the thought still remained and I was going to tell my doctor that I was experiencing no symptoms.  My first doctor’s appointment was at 13 weeks, and I was 12 week6 Monthss when everything changed.  The night prior, I had the most vivid dream I have ever had.  I had dreamt that I was taken into the hospital and gave birth and my baby was taken from me before I got to see or hold it.  I remember waking up crying and what an awful feeling that was.  I shook it off as those crazy dreams women get while pregnant, and went to work like it was any other day.

At lunch time, I noticed there was a bit of blood.  I began to panic.  I’m not generally a person who keeps my cool under extreme situations so I told my manager immediately that I needed to go to the doctors.  I had to call my doctor 3 times before they would let me come.  And they didn’t really let me come, I called and said “I’m pregnant and bleeding and I’m coming right now.”  My doctor saw me and did an exam.  My cervix was still closed, which was good, but there was a lot of dried blood.  She was sending me to have an ultrasound the next morning and that I was to go home and relax.  I went home and rubbed my belly and told myself that everything was fine and that I was merely overreacting.  I have somewhat of a “worst case scenario” mentality and had told myself that this was just another case that I was over analyzing and everything would be fine in the morning.  I would go for the test and see my baby and everything would be fine.  Fine, fine, fine.1 year

I went to the clinic and had the ultrasound.  I saw my baby up on the screen, it was small but I was elated none the less.  I’m no technician so it looked exactly how it should.  The tech came back with a stapled shut envelope and handed it to me.

“Please take this to your doctor right now,” she said quietly.

“I have an appointment with her on Friday, can I give it to her then?” I asked.

“No, you have to go now.”  Not good.  A sinking feeling began to swim in my stomach.

“Ok.”   My doctor’s office was only a few steps away from the ultrasound clinic and I fought the entire way not to open the envelope.  Why had she stapled it shut?  Why did I need to go now?  I got to the office and went to the front desk.  I explained what the tech had said and the receptionist said that my doctor wasn’t in today but she would call a nurse.  The nurse opened the envelope and told me to follow her.  I wasn’t even through the door, which was still open when I heard these words;

“It’s bad news,” she said so matter-of-factly.  I began to cry and grasp for the closest chair.  The door wasn’t even shut and people walking by, visibly pregnant were looking at me on their way by.  She handed me the letter which read in big letters, “Fetal Demise, no heartbeat detected, fetus appears calcified, only measuring 7 weeks, 6 days.  I was supposed to be 12 weeks pregnant.  I had been a human graveyard for 4 weeks.  I was devastated.  No, I don’t think devastated quite describes how I felt.  There are no words to describe it.  The nurse had called my doctor and had her speak to me on the phone.  She apologized for my loss and that if I came in on Friday, they would perform a DNC.  A surgical procedure, but I wanted to be done with this.  I didn’t want to20 Months pass it at home, I just wanted it to be over.  They asked if I needed them to call anyone, but I said no and that I needed to go home.  I called my work in the lobby and told them I would not be in for a few days and then I called my husband.

“Hey baby,  how’d the test go?” he asked, trying to sound upbeat.

“The baby is dead,” I cried, holding onto the wall for support, hiding my face from the people in the lobby.  There was a silence on the phone for quite some time.

“I’m coming home, where are you?”  I told him that I was catching a cab from the office.  He told me he loved me and we would talk as soon as he got home.

I got home and collapsed in my room.  It still hadn’t sunken in that I had been carrying a dead baby for 4 weeks and was still showing.  I was visibly pregnant, but yet my belly kept growing.  It was a cruel joke, I thought to myself, how could this happen to me?  My husband came home and all I could do was yell and cry, rant and scream, weep and be silent.  He is the strong silent type and just listened to me.  I am glad for it, because had he said something along the lines of “Don’t worry, we’ll try again” or “It just wasn’t meant to be” I may have lost my mind altogether.  2 1/2 years

He came with me that Friday where we learned that they would not give me a DNC like they had said they would as they “didn’t have room” for me in the OR, so they wanted me to try a pill that would empty the contents of my uterus.  That night, lying in my underwear, was my 7 week, 6 day old baby, attached to the amniotic sac, calcified like the tech said it was, looking up at me.  It was the single most scarring moment of my life.  I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy.  No woman deserves to see the child they so desperately wanted, lying dead in front of them.  My husband heard my screams and came in.  He had kept it together until then.  He wrapped it up in some tissue paper and went into our bedroom.  I found him sitting on the bed crying.

“Why that?  Out of all of this, why did that have to happen?” We had lost our baby, wasn’t that painful enough, but to have that happen.  It just wasn’t fair.

Needless to say, it took a very long time to recover from that.  We went to other doctors to try to get some help, at least figure out what went wrong.  My OBGYN had refused to help us get pregnant.

3 1/2 years   “I can help you, I just don’t want to.  Why do you want to have babies so close together?  I’ll never figure out you young people.  You’re not even married.”  On top of grieving, I was now being spoken down to by my very own doctor.  Another doctor told me “It wasn’t even a baby.”  Where was I being treated?  Was I back in the 1800’s?  I could not believe that this was how I was being spoken to.  I argued that if women wanted to have their breasts reduced or enlarged, doctors would help them.  If a man wished to have a vasectomy, they would help him too.  Even if someone wants to change their sex, doctors would help.  They would not belittle them because they were 25 and unmarried.  My husband and I are technically common law, however, we do not need to have the same last name, matching rings and a piece of paper to say that our love and committment to one another is any less genuine and sincere.  We both love each other deeply, and plan to be with each other for the rest of our lives, we just don’t need that ceremony to make it concrete.  We love our life together, how we choose to be together and it works for us.  We don’t press our values and ideals on others, so all we ask is not to have them pressed upon us.  We have been together for 6 years.  We both work full-time jobs, pay our bills, feed our daughter home cooked meals, our house is clean, and we provide a loving environment for our daughter.  So why shouldn’t we be able to have another?

But today I received wonderful news.  I went to a doctor and by the end of the visit, I had already had a heart scan, blood taken, an ultrasound scheduled, and an appointment for my husband to be checked.  All without being judged.  This doctor was going to help.  He wanted to do a series of tests so that if there was something he could fix, ie thyroid or hormonal issues, and if he couldn’t find anything, he had a list of fertility specialists waiting to help, and he would already have all the blood tests and ultrasounds for them already.  After 2 years of countless doctors turning us away, we were finally getting help.  And even though I don’t know the results, I’m just happy to finally know that answers are coming.

In a Pinch Childcare

Standard

It was a miserable day today and I really wanted to take my daughter somewhere fun to get her out of the house.  I checked Toronto4Kids.com for some rainy Sunday fun, and while I found somewhere to go, I came across an ad for In a Pinch.

My daughter is in daycare as both my husband and I both work full time and when we first put her in it, within 3 days she contracted Norwolk Virus.  Needless to say, not only did we have to pay for the 3 weeks she wasn’t in daycare, we also had to take time off of work to care for her as we didn’t have any other child care options.  If only there was a last minute, fully accredited childcare service that you call when you really need them…

In a Pinch provides the GTA and Ottawa area with quick and reliable care services for both children and the elderly.  They also can service overnight and sick child care, school and daycare services, care for vacationers and hotel guests, elder care, housekeeping and cleaning as well as post and prenatal care.

All of their care providers are over the age of 20, have full background checks and all of their references are thoroughly researched.  I love this idea as now when my daughter, who catches every germ that she comes in contact with, I can simply call In a Pinch and I can still go to work and get paid!

I’m out the Door Running!

Standard

I told myself at 11:59 December 31st 2011 that the year 2012 would be my year.  2010 left me bruised, 2011 almost left me broken, but 2012 was going to be my year and so far it has (knock on wood, cross your fingers, all that superstitious stuff.)  I was promoted at work, I  started this blog and was given the chance to talk and share stories with all you fine folk, and now I am training to run 5  & 10 kilometre races this year in Toronto!

I never considered myself a runner, in fact the mere thought of running left me almost dizzy.  Why anyone would want to run and run and run for hours, pushing their very bodies to the brink was beyond me, until this year.  Call it a Forrest Gump moment, but I just had to get up and run.  From the moment my foot hit the pavement, my mind was clear.  All I focused on was breathing, the pace and the road ahead of me.  I wasn’t thinking about the pile of laundry waiting for me, or the stack of dishes.  I wasn’t worried about clients or deadlines at work, all I needed to do was run.  I came home elated, relaxed and blissful.  I gave my hubby a kiss on the cheek, smiled and said “I think I like running.”

I have since joined a gym and my friend who ran a half marathon last year has graciously accepted to help train me.  She is teaching me the proper technique (who knew that one foot in front of the other repeatedly wasn’t enough) and how to breathe properly (isn’t it simply inhale and exhale?) But there are other things she has shown me; Endurance, Determination and Persistence.  Endurance for taking me that extra step, Determination to complete a race and Persistence to get up everyday and train.  I thought I had all of these qualities simply from parenting, after all, isn’t persistence needed for potty training and bed time wars, endurance for raising a child from birth to forever and determination to parent our children right.  I am learning now that there are many more correlations between running and parenting that I had previously thought and I feel like come 11:59 December 31st 2012, I will be a better parent (and runner) for it.

The Best Cupcake I Have Ever Had!

Standard

The 8th was my birthday and overall I have to say it was a great day.  I received birthday wishes and cards from all my friends and family and my hubby was making me my favourite dinner for when I got home.  When I got to work, I came in to find a card on the top of a box.  I opened the card and saw the signatures of my co-workers.  I picked up the box and it was a Prairie Girl Cupcake.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Prairie Girl Cupcake!

The Chocolate cake with Peanut Butter Icing.  Mmm.  It was the best cupcake I have every had.  The icing was peanut butter, but it wasn’t overwhelmingly sweet.  Just the right amount of peanut butter flavour.  The cupcake was so moist, and flavourful.  So if you ever get the chance, check out Prairie Girl Bakery, you will be glad you did.

What a Week!

Standard

What a week it has been and this is my first post in 10 days so I guess I’d better explain my absence.

After a visitor-filled weekend to celebrate my birthday, my sister noticed a lump on my daughters’ shoulder.  I asked my daughter to come here and there was a large bony lump on her shoulder.  I gasped loudly which made my daughter start to cry.  Me and weird lumps don’t mix well.  I was trying to think of any injuries that could have caused the lump.  Then I remembered that 6 weeks prior, she had fallen and hurt her arm badly.  We had taken her to the hospital where they proceeded to say that it was nothing more than soft tissue damage and sent us on our way without so much as a Xray.  We took her back to the same hospital and it turns out that her clavical was actually broken and had healed on its own.

So with trips to the hospital, work has been insane.  Our General Manager is taking a very well deserved sabbatical, leaving a managerial vacuum to be filled.  On top of that, we have installed a new software that we were trying to work out all the kinks. Needless to say, whenever new changes come, people are bound to react and so with the learning curve of a new software, working 6 very long days in a row and having a co-worker (and very good friend) leaving to fly across the world, it has been the most stressful week ever.  Now I am fighting off the flu, oh the joys!

So while I have neglected my blogging, I am back and you will see many posts from me.